Knotting gut

Kiri and Ponele’ak stood before their chief wearing equally sour expressions after having spent five days with Chanvatey’s apprentice.

“So, what did you learn?” Jayavanan queried.

With that, they both blurted out speaking on top of each other … “The boy uses words, but almost nothing of sense comes from him!” … “He had us playing with sticks in the mud!” … their hands flailing in disgust.

“So, what did you learn?” the chief repeated calmly.

“We drew circles in the dirt.” … “We knotted gut.”  Again blurting out simultaneously.

“But, what did you learn?”

This time a bit more calmly Kiri replied “How to draw a perfect circle.”

“How to make the knots at exactly equal lengths from each other,” Ponele’ak said with sullen disdain.

“It was a complete waste of our time!” they both seemed to say simultaneously.

“Not at all,” Jayavanan countered.  “It is from these simple first steps that our great city will rise.  Now return for another week, after which you may tell me more.”